Most of the city got to enjoy yesterday's cooler weather - except for Queens residents and business owners. For the second day in a row, homes and businesses had little or no power and subway service was limited, with many commutes that would take 30 minutes tops taking 90 minutes. The MTA blamed Con Ed, saying, "Because of the low-voltage problem, not enough power is available to power subway signals in the area." And Con Ed blamed Queens residents, essentially telling one of our readers when she asked what the ETA for power would be, "maybe if our neighbors actually listened to them, the load would go down and then we'd have power."
Mayor Bloomberg said Con Ed was doing the best it could, but City Councilman Eric Gioia of Queens said, "Is it any surprise that it is this hot in the city in July? Frankly, people expect better from Con Edison." Astoria resident Dan Dickinson told us Con Ed was "allegedly handing out dry and regular ice at a few intersections but its a little late now - food has spoiled."
Power seems to be back on the trains (the MTA writes "ollowing the ability of Con ED to return more feeders on line, and the use of portable generators to supply the required amount of voltage to our signal system, NYC Transit plans to run NORMAL rush hour service through North West Queens..."), but it's still unclear how the neighborhoods themselves are doing.
And this graphic is from Queens resident John Chu, who said he had power in Rego Park but Woodside was another story.
Update: Reader Laura related her call to Con Ed:
Just thought you might want to pass along to your readers the info I found out after a LOOOONG wait to talk with a human at Con Ed today. They’re saying that service could be restored “next week, sometime, maybe” – but they’re definitely pessimistic about the weekend. So that sucks pretty hard. They’re “distributing” free ice, but as far as the Customer Service Representative I spoke with, there are only two locations – the corner of Ditmas and Steinway, and the Veronon Ave. Command Station. They also claim that they are urging the neighbors with power to cut back, but after a couple of bike rides through the neighborhood today, I have seen NO evidence of Con Ed either asking people to cut back or anyone voluntarily cutting back. The mayor, I think, is unaware that his paltry dictates in City Hall really do little to help people in Queens – he should be urging neighbors to really help neighbors. It’s like the blackout, except that there’s no camaraderie, and it’s going to last longer.
Also, Customers with spoiled foods and electronic equipment damaged by the outage can contact the number below for a claims form – 800-752-6633.
And a bunch of readers posted the link for Con Ed's claims form online - here it is (and thank you).